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April 4, 2017

Congratulations to North Carolina on winning the national championship. It was a physical battle with a lot of whistles, but the Tar Heels got to the winner’s circle, 71-65 ove Gonzaga.

Joel Berry scored 22 points and was named Most Outstanding Player. Isaiah Hicks came up with a big basket late and Justin Jackson’s dunk helped put it away. North Carolina won despite shooting four-of-27 from three-point range.

The Zags lost for just the second time all season. Mark Few’s team can be proud of its accomplishments this season. Nigel Williams-Goss and company battled to the very end but fell short.

Roy Williams joined select company with his third NCAA championship. Names like Wooden, Coach K, Rupp, Knight, Calhoun are in that class with three or more championships.

It wasa great college hoop season and the VBDI (Vitale Bald Dome Index) picked UNC over Gonzaga before the tournament started.

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April 3, 2017

The national title will be decided on Monday night and I believe the two best teams will meet in Arizona.

North Carolina and Gonzaga should stage a greta contest to end a fun season. The Tar Heels have seen the basketball gods smile on them with close wins over Kentucky and Oregon. First it was Luke Maye hitting the winner vs the Cats, then four missed fre throws late and survive and advance vs. the Ducks.

Mark Few’s Zags have lost once all season, at home to BYU. Gonzaga fought hard to edge South Carolina Saturday. Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins were stars in the win.

North Carolina will be challenged by the size of the Zags. Joel Bery and Isaiah Hicks were a combined 3-26 FG on Saturday and that won’t happen again. I like the Tar Heels to cut down the nets, 87-83.

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March 31, 2017

The Final Four is always so special. I keep very busy during the weekend, between television commitments on SportsCenter, calling a semifinal and the championship game on ESPN International, plus appearances for several companies.

On Friday, I had a great time at an autograph signing for The Rock. I also spoke for Coke and Allstate. My day started with SportsCenter from the set in University of Phoenix stadium, overlooking the court.

I love the passion of the fans on this weekend. I have met so many of them already. All four schools here are well-represented by their fan bases.

It will be another fun-filled Final Four weekend.

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March 27, 2017

March Madness has given us a clear path to Arizona, baby! The Final Four is all set.

Gonzaga sent a message to the naysayers who claimed that their WCC schedule did not prepare them for the NCAA tournament. The Zags beat Florida, Iowa State, Arizona and Saint Mary’s three times and that was impressive enough for me. Mark Few is finally in the Final Four and this team is not finished making noise.

Few has done a great job blending in transfers to form a cohesive unit. Nigel Williams-Goss from Washington, Jordan Matthews from California and Jonathan Williams from Missouri have been part of Transfer U.

Oregon lost shot-blocker Chris Boucher to a late-season injury and many experts thought the Ducks would fall apart. Dana Altman’s team proved it could play, beating Kansas in Kansas City to reach the Final Four. Jordan Bell was a shot-blocker and double-double guy. Tyler Dorsey had seven straight games with 20 or more points. Dillon Brooks has performed well

inside and outside. The defense held the Jayhawks to 1-for-15 on three-pointers in the second half of the regional final.

South Carolina may be the true Cinderella as a 7th seed in the Final Four. Frank Martin’s team has improved its offense in the NCAA tournament and came through down the stretch in the East regional final against Florida. The Gators did not make a single three-pointer in the second half of that contest and the Gamecocks continue their tenacious defense.

Sindarius Thornwell continues to show why he is so vital. The SEC Player of the Year puts up big numbers in leading the Gamecocks.

Few, Altman and Martin are coaching in their first Final Four. The fourth participant, Roy Williams, has cut down the nets as a national champion before. His Tar Heels edged Kentucky in the South regional final in Memphis.

Luke Maye has become an unsung hero for the Tar Heels. He hit the winning shot against the Wildcats. Justin Jackson and Joel Berry are one of the best backcourts in college basketball and they want to make up fror last season’s last-second loss to Villanova in the national title game.

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March 20, 2017

How many people would have thought the ACC would have just one team (UNC) in the Sweet 16? The conference was the best one n the sport this season. Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Florida State and Duke all lost in the second round.

The Big Ten (Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin), SEC (Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina), Big 12 (Kansas, West Virginia and Baylor) and the Pac-12 (Oregon, Arizona and UCLA) each have three teams in the Sweet 16.

Xavier, even without injured Edmund Sumner, has impressed with wins over Maryland and Florida State. Trevon Blueitt has been solid for Chris Mack’s team.

Gonzaga has advanced to the Sweet 16. Two more wins and the Zags will make their first Final Four.

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Quote of the Week

"The amazing Roger Federer is absolutely the GOAT!! He now has a record eight Wimbledon men's singles titles."

  -Dick Vitale